An inspiring man of “passion, energy and positivity” were the words used to describe Australian IT titan Alex Lopez following his untimely death last week.
Numerous tributes have flowed in to the long-serving industry figure, who advised and mentored scores of IT businesses and industry talent for more than 30 years.
Lopez most recently sat on the boards of companies such as OneAffiniti and Tecala Group, while also doing consultancy work.
He started his career as an electrical engineer with Alcatel, before moving into the sales side. By the end of the 1980s, he was running NEC reseller Lodin, before joining FairMarket as a sales director.
He later went on to co-found the once-publicly listed Australian IT company Sonnet Corporation, before embarking on more consultancy and training focused-work.
Speaking to ARN, his wife-of-32 years Mary-Ann Lopez described her husband as her best friend, calling his an “honourable, loyal and happy-go-lucky” who was well-loved by those around him.
“He mentored and helped so many young people. He would see the talent in them and although he would throw them in the deep end, he would guide them so they would soar,”
As well as an active figure in the IT community, Lopez enjoyed fitness activities, participating in triathlons, including three half-Iron Mans and a number of half marathons.
He also had a passion for humanitarian work, serving as chairman for paediatric neuroscience charity Brainwave and the environment app RecycleSmart.
Together, under the nickname Team Lopez, he and Mary-Ann regularly held fundraisers for charitable causes at their family home.
Lopez first became ill towards the end of 2018 and, following several months of tests, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February this year.
He subsequently embarked on a course of treatment spanning surgeries and chemotherapy, and many periods in hospital. According to Mary-Ann, his “mental and physical toughness” helped steer him through some of the worst periods.
Although he appeared to be fighting the illness during the first two months of winter, Lopez’s health rapidly declined at the end of July. The last three months were spent in palliative care at North Shore Private Hospital, but not without one day at home to celebrate Mary-Ann’s birthday over lunch last week.
“His mental and physical toughness gave us a few more months together, and he never gave up,” she said. “His goal was my birthday and he made it.”
Two days later, he passed away.
During his last few months at North Shore hospital, Mary-Ann would regularly see “a queue” of people coming to visit her husband.
Following his passing, many of these from the IT industry paid tribute to Lopez, with OneAffiniti founder and CEO Joel Montgomery describing him as one of the company’s family.
“He was a director and A/NZ sales leader and he contributed significantly to our success and growth,” he said. “As everyone who knows Alex can imagine, he brought with him incredible passion, energy and positivity every day - I don't know how he did it. He was a mentor to so many and inspired us all. Alex made me a better businessman, a better manager and a better person.”
One of those who benefited from Lopez’s mentorship was Karl Sice’s son Regan during the latter’s tenure at OneAffiniti.
The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise country manager commented: “Regan was lucky enough to call Alex his first boss. [Lopez] was generous with his time, his experience and most of all his values.”
He added: “The thing that always stuck out for me is Alex’s humanity. He was able to bring that energy and capability to those who were lucky enough to work alongside him. He has left the world a much better place.”
Channel Dynamics’ Moheb Moses also remembered Lopez’s passion and his mentorship role to his younger peers.
“I’ve known Alex since the late 80s when he ran Lodin,” Moses said. “Being around Alex, you couldn’t help but be inspired by his energy, passion, and desire to achieve something for the greater good.
“At work, he was sharp, creative and didn’t suffer fools easily. He had an eye for spotting the core issues preventing a business from succeeding and acted as a mentor to many individuals who have since gone on to achieve great things. He was wonderful human being, and will be missed by anyone that knew him.”
John Walters, group CEO of NextGen, remarked on Lopez’s “wonderful sense of humour” and his contribution to good causes alongside Mary Ann.
“He was a giver, not a taker,” Walters said. “He always made people around him feel special; he was a pioneer in our industry and then threw his time into nurturing the next generation; his charity work was legendary.”
A service for him will be held on 30 September at Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park Cemetery.